Friday, January 14, 2011

Some Education Food for Thought

Yesterday's article in the Grand Rapids Press, Michigan Schools--Lying to Parents? by Monica Scott was really interesting.

I also came across an interesting article called Your Child Left Behind. by Amanda Ripley in Atlantic December 2010.

The Grand Rapids Press article is interesting because it points out that under No Child Left Behind, a national test was initiated which compares a statistical sampling of 4th, 6th and 9th graders in each state with each other on a national test.  This is a comparing apples to apples approach.  As a parent who is not a professional in the education system, I had to dig around to find this information.  Not too many parent advocates even realized that this national test is out there, and now this article tells us that the MEAPs don't meet the more rigorous national standards. 

In the same vein, the Atlantic article is a statistical review of how US 15 year olds do on a standardized math test that is apparently given to 15 year olds around the world.  Again, I am pretty sure this is a statistical sampling.  Instead of telling us how US 15 year olds do in general, it is broken down by states.  Needless to say, even the state with the best public schools, Massachusetts, ranks in the second tier.

We need to be keeping these types of pieces of information in mind when we are advocating on behalf of schools.  There is alot of information out there for our esteemed professionals to sog through in order to make the education experience the best it can be for our students.  We need to demand excellence and we need to back that up with proper funding and support.